December 24, 1860: Eve of Destruction

What was to come: 1860

What was to come: 1860

President Andrew Jackson successfully stopped it in his day. Seccession had been threatened and the fate of the nation was hanging in the balance. That was decades prior to 1860. On December 24, 1860, what had been merely a threat in Jackson’s day became reality. South Carolina passed what it called a ‘Declaration of Immediate Causes of Secession.’  The break-up of the Union of the United States had begun. The ‘Declaration’ stated, among other things, that each state had seperate control over it’s institutions, including the right of slavery (“states rights”).  Following this, Gov. Pickens of South Carolina issued a proclamation declaring the states seperate, free, and sovereign. A letter of resignation of South Carolina representations was then presented in the U.S. House of Representatives.
A gloom rolled over the land on this Christmas eve. No one could know that years of fighting would be next.  In fact, most thought that if it came to actual combat between opposing armies it would be a short war. But Americans had not seen yet what they were soon to see. They had no idea of the horrors that waited them.  At the First Battle of Bull Run, ladies and gentlemen went to the battle scene with picnic baskets as if to watch a theatre production. Reality would hit them hard that day. Abraham Lincoln struggled with the issue, as well. On one hand, he seemed to not realize that the South would actually do what it did. However, by the time of his leaving for Washington as President-elect, it had also hit him. He expressed that what was laid on him was heavier that what George Washington had toiled under.
The war would see over 10,000 fights in all.  Over a million soldiers (both sides) would be casualties. Homes would be wrecked, cities and towns ruined, and families divided. The great Sam Houston had forewarned that the South could not possibly win a war against the North. He refused to side with the Confederacy (even as a son joined the southern ranks).  But the ferver was running too high. More states seceeded after South Carolina and as Lincoln would later say, “the war came.”
In 2010, our nation is again at war. We are dealing with the “war on terror”-going on for years now. We are also at war internally. Abraham Lincoln had made a statement once that if America were to fall it would not be due to an outside enemy but to factors within. I believe he was absolutely correct. Today, on this December 24th, let’s pray for our nation. We are in trouble-all seem to agree on that. Let’s all do what we can in our personal lives to keep our country strong. Let’s end our apathy about things and became active citizens. I know folks who stopped voting years ago. They say: “What does it matter?” It matters alot. Our lives and our children’s lives are at stake. If we don’t do something I fear we are on an ‘Eve of Destruction’ greater than what our ancestors faced on December 24, 1860.
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